Last year I decided to delete my Instagram account.
It wasn’t an impulsive idea, because I’d had the idea on my mind for several months before I decided to act on it.
In almost one year since, I’ve learned more about life. Not to be sound dramatic or philosophical, but if only people try to get their eyes off the screens for a while, cut down the hours spent on social medias, it will start to make more sense.
Now let me tell you how life without Instagram feels like.
Life without Instagram means those little hearts and people on the bottom right corner of your phone that make you so insta-happy for seconds are gone. No more waking up on Sunday morning, only to grab your phone and check what your friends were doing on the night before — and with whom. No more flicking thumbs up and down through the stream of your friends’ food, dates, and sunsets. No more #ootd. No more double tapping on any pictures — voluntarily or involuntarily.
It sounds pretty devastating, but wait till you are without it yourself — because the first few days or even weeks will be like, “What’s going on?!” and “How is everyone doing, LIKE REALLY?” or “So who goes out with who, again?” or “I spent $150 on my meal, and now who would like and commenton it?”
But then, you move on.
It will be Saturday night, and suddenly you will feel no pressure to have fancy dinners because anyway, you have no one watching you — instead, you pick your favorite, super delicious and affordable Korean restaurant just around the block. And you love it.
You’ll hangout with your partner with your phone on the purse (almost) all day long because you won’t take pictures of that ice cream; and you won’t take a picture of yourself in sunshades as #ootd. Instead, you’ll enjoy each second of each other’s company and notice how funny he is. People will not leave comments on how happy and cute of a couple you are, but when you are on the bed at night, you will be relieved because that will be a day well spent.
When you are at a restaurant, you’ll be busy enjoying every bite of your food — not arranging plates and utensils to take kinfolk-y pictures. And when you are at the movie, you’ll actually watch the movie instead of constantly checking the number of likes you got from the photo of your chocolate soufflé.
You see. After you put your phone down, you suddenly realize that all the happiness on your stream are most probably staged — just like what you did to yours; and apparently, not all couples are as blissful as they put on the social medias. You’ll realize that every picture has a backstage, and backstages are rarely pretty. Well, it makes perfect sense — because while people are busy orchestrating their lives to look blissful, sometimes they forget to organize their backstage — the place where they truly live.
You’ll realize that unconsciously, when you tap on the app, your mind is set to compare your backstages with people’s spotlights — and that is certainly not healthy.
You set unrealistic expectations on how you think your life should be — and when it doesn’t come true (and trust me, it won’t), disappointment will be the only thing you get.
No, I’m not urging anybody to take their Instagram accounts down. It will be ridiculous. But if I may give one piece of doable advice, it would be: put your phone down. Again, put your damn phone down — and pay attention to life.
Be attentive to your brother’s stories.
Be actually present for your partner. Listen to her rant. Watch movies with him.
Enjoy that Big Whopper and coke.
Recognize that the beauty of life lies in the little moments that pass you by in the blink of an eye — not the ones you staged on social medias.